How to install a steering wheel. Disconnect the negative battery cable and wait at least 15-20 minutes before working on it. This is how you can deactivate the airbag. If you have a radio with an anti-theft system, you may want to unlock it first or take it to the dealer for repair. Remove the plastic trim from the steering column. Remove the muffler panels under the dash. Some are fastened with 7mm screws, snap fasteners. Remove the knee pad under the steering column. They are usually removed and held in place with clips. Look for the screws and be careful as it is plastic. Remove the steel bracket behind the knee brace. These are usually held together by various bolts. Make sure the front wheels are pointing straight ahead, but don’t lock the ignition if you lock the steering column. Instead, thread the seat belt through the steering wheel.
How to install a steering wheel: remove the steering coupler pinch bolt
This is what holds the column to the steering gear. You may have to move the flywheel to access the bolt. Sometimes it is outside or inside the vehicle. On many cars with front-wheel drive and rack-and-pinion steering, this means dropping the engine mount 4 inches (10.2 cm) to gain access. You may also need to remove a rubber boot to access it. Note how much the wheel had to be turned and returned to its original position after the bolt was removed. For example, if you were to turn the wheel 1/2 turn to the right, turn it 1/2 turn to the left. Use a piece of tape or some other means to keep the wheel from turning once it is disconnected. Spinning the wheel too much or losing center can destroy expensive parts.
Remove any cables or wires from the steering column.
Cars with column shifters usually have a cable that goes to the transmission and it can be inside or outside the firewall. Pick it up too. Most 1989 and newer cars have four 14mm lug nuts that hold the pillar to the dash. If your vehicle has a shift column and the shift indicator is mechanical, you will need to be careful not to break the cable when lowering the column. If you have one, mark the location of the clip and remove it before lowering the column. Many of these are NLA no longer available parts from the dealer as they were only made in the late 1990’s.
How to install a steering wheel – column
Carefully remove the column from the vehicle and set it aside. To install a new column, line it up inside the coupler and secure it to the backboard. The wheel of the new column should point forward. If yours had the mechanical shift indicator, install it on the new part before lifting it all the way up and tightening it down. Install the pinch bolt so it is tight. Reinstall the boot on the coupler. Reconnect any cables or wires that you have disconnected.
How to install a steering wheel – Reinstall the steel bracket and knee brace.
Reinstall all the trim and muffler panels that you removed to gain access to the steering column. Reconnect the battery. Make sure the steering is working properly before pulling the car out into traffic. You are responsible for ensuring that your vehicle is safe to drive.
Steering Wheel Difficult to Turn: Common Reasons and How to Fix It
You may find it difficult to turn the steering wheel at low speeds then miraculously the problem seems to ease somewhat once you accelerate, simply because you will most likely slow down while turning. This does not mean that you should ignore the problem of difficulty turning the steering wheel, because it is certainly not going to go away on its own.
When this problem occurs, you can be sure that there is something wrong with your power steering system. It could be the fluid, the pump or the serpentine belt. All of these things work together to reduce wheel resistance when cornering. When any or all of these items are not functioning properly, you will experience a steering wheel that is difficult to turn due to the high level of resistance.
Skipping scheduled maintenance as well as the natural wear of certain components are the most common reasons for a stiff flywheel. So your best bet is to keep up with routine maintenance, otherwise once you find yourself with a steering wheel stuck in the middle of a busy road or highway, there’s nothing you can do.
How to install a steering wheel – Power steering fluid leak
For the power steering system to work, it needs an adequate amount of a special fluid called power steering fluid. This fluid serves as the passage through which power is transferred from the steering wheel to the vehicle’s steering gear to turn the wheels. It also acts to lubricate and protect the moving parts of the system from overheating and corrosion. The most common cause of a hard-to-turn steering wheel is a lack of power steering fluid in the system. This is likely to happen when fluid leaks from a crack in the pressure hose area or if that area becomes loose.
Fluid seeps through this crack, reducing pressure in the system and causing the power steering pump to work harder to compensate for the pressure loss. As a result, the flywheel doesn’t get enough fluid to turn freely, and you’ll have to exert a lot more force than normal. Topping up the fluid in the power steering reservoir will fix the problem for now and the car will be drivable for a while, but the leak needs to be fixed. Otherwise, you will end up causing your power steering pump to fail, which can be an expensive replacement.